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(#67) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:12-Sickening Disappointment

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

Eager anticipation, expectation, is what “hope” is, and the disappointment of delay can be sickening, as the Old Testament records. Abram had waited for God to “make him a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-3), and the disappointment showed when “Abram said, ‘Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’” (Genesis 15:2). Abram “believed God,” Who reassured him (Genesis 15:3-6). That promised child came, and was given a name meaning “laughter,” “Isaac” (Genesis 21:3-6), because it showed God was still going to keep His promise. The ultimate, single fulfillment of God’s long-term promise to Abraham was in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:13-18). When Joseph and Mary came to offer her sacrifice of purification for birthing a male child under Moses’ Law (Leviticus 12:1-8; Luke 2:21-24), Simeon saw “the Consolation of Israel” come in the form of the infant Jesus (Luke 2:25-35), much later than expected. Children of God today are because of their spiritual connection to God’s promise to Abraham, NOT physical lineage to Abraham. “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.’” (Romans 9:6-9). Many Israelites had become “sick” over the centuries because they thought this answer to God’s promise to Abram had been forgotten. This lesson should not be lost on Christians today. Peter said in 2 Peter 3:1-13, that it is only “scoffers” who think “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,” and choose to “willfully forget” the world-wide flood of destruction in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-9). And because “the Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness” “the day of the Lord will come.”

But look at “the tree of life,” that is, the refreshing of blessings, that comes when that “desire” is fulfilled. To Corinthian Christians whose response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16) was because of “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), Paul wrote: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #gods-promise, #hope, #proverbs